Glenn Beck has a dream, too … of speaking for God

Didn’t have the time/will yesterday for Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally? Neither did we.

Someone did, and found that Beck is positioning himself to receive a mantle he may not be prepared to bear.

Among those surprised by all of conservative TV host Glenn Beck’s recent religious talk – including at Saturday’s Washington rally, where Beck said that “America today begins to turn back to God,” – is the Rev. Richard Land, a Southern Baptist leader.

“I’ve been stunned,” said Land, who directs public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention and who attended the Saturday rally at Beck’s invitation.

“This guy’s on secular radio and television,” Land said Saturday, “but his shows sound like you’re listening to the Trinity Broadcasting Network, only it’s more orthodox and there’s no appeal for money … and today he sounded like Billy Graham.”

As for what actually kicks this up,

“Something beyond imagination is happening,” he told participants who packed the National Mall in Washington. “America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness.”


He struck a spiritual tone throughout the day, saying his role was to wake America up to the backsliding of principles, values and most importantly, faith. Earlier, he said “God dropped a giant sandbag on his head” to push him to organize the event.

“Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice,” he said. “Do we no longer believe in the power of the individual? Do we no longer believe in dreams?”

“Dreams?” Where have we heard that before? Oh, yeah … that’s right.

Perhaps it has something to do with so many conservatives frequently behaving insensitively. Consider Glenn Beck’s so-called Restoring Honor Rally, for which he just so happens to have booked the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for Saturday, the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Civil-rights organizations typically commemorate the massive civil- rights demonstration and Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech there on that date.

Beck says the event will “reclaim the civil-rights movement,” from progressives who have hijacked it for their redistributive agenda. The original March on Washington, like the civil-rights movement more generally, saw economic justice (hence “jobs”) as inextricable from legal equality. It was an inherently liberal cause. Beck can disagree, and say that the two goals are separable, as indeed he does.

But to claim, as he recently has, that economic justice was not a concern of the civil-rights movement, and that liberal political leaders who are popular among African-Americans are “perverting” the cause, is both demonstrably false and deeply disrespectful to the African-American community. Beck says he and his overwhelmingly white followers “are the inheritors and protectors of the civil- rights movement.” This is as direct a provocation to civil-rights activists as it would be to conservatives if Keith Olbermann said that he and his viewers were the inheritors and protectors of Ronald Reagan’s legacy.

Since many this morning are either headed to or already in church (that’s the good-old Midwest for this blogger), remember while you’re there to pray for the powerful to see the light and to act according to the responsibilities entrusted them.

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Category : The Lead

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  1. Glenn Beck scares me. He is a mormon. The LDS denies that our salvation is by faith alone. In fact, they believe that when a Mormon dies, he becomes a ‘little god’. Beck tells people to leave churches that believe in social justice. The civil rights movement began on a church basement. He believes our government is tyrannical. Our government voted and enforced the Civil Rights Act of the 60’s. Beck is doing all of this for his own self-promotion. See MT 6:5 & John 5:44. Beck would do well to read Romans 13:1-7.

  2. Gregory

    Glenn Beck’s already considerable megalomania hit an all-time high with this “rally.” Now he is going to be God’s spokesman, rather than just a political pundit and historical revisionist who’s laughing all the way to the bank? Many of us Christians haven’t forgotten how he smeared preaching the social justice imperatives of Jesus Christ’s gospel (à la Matthew 25:31-46 and Luke 14:12-14, inter alia) as “Communism” and “Nazism,” and called on Americans to boycott churches that remain faithful to preaching that gospel. His behavior and lifestyle are a sober reminder that sometimes addicts do not conquer addiction, but simply substitute the object of their addictiveness — in this case, fame and fortune for drugs and alcohol. Romans 16:17-18 rings like a fire alarm over his latest act: “Brothers and sisters, look out for those who cause dissension and scandal, contrary to the teaching that you learned, and avoid them. Such people serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites — and with smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.”

    Gregory Orloff

  3. Peter Pearson

    I see something very dangerous here and I am concerned.

  4. The Rev. Richard E. Helmer

    Funny that he said “Look West.” Is that meant to echo a sense of the bloody, tattered threads of Manifest Destiny?

    In the Christian tradition, we look East — towards the dawn of resurrection.

    Just who is pointing towards darkness here?

  5. Spare me. You Episcopalians have presumed to speak for God for at least the last six and a half years. Hence your arrogance, your barely-concealed racism, your sneering condescension toward anyone who disagrees with you and the speed with which you haul out the “bigotry” blast.

    Maybe, just maybe, there was nothing at all “holy” about the spirit you claim you’ve been listening to since 2003.


    I do want to correct one point: we started listening to the Holy Spirit in 593, not 2003. Otherwise, you’re entitled to your opinion.


    Also, the last comment was by Mike Lockaby.

  8. tgflux

    “You Episcopalians”?

    This is the Episcopal Cafe, Christopher J. If our brew is not to your taste (a little too biting, perhaps? “Aslan’s not a tame lion!”), then you’re welcome to look elsewhere.

    JC Fisher

  9. Gregory

    Mr. Johnson, there’s a very big difference between a centuries-old church striving to discern God’s will and proclaim it in word and deed in its striving to be Christlike, and a sensationalist 46-year-old media star with a disturbed past and disturbing un-Christlike public behavior assuming the mantle of God’s spokesman to lead a vague religious revival on dubious bases for dubious ends. Quite frankly, as a non-Episcopalian, it’s the humility of Episcopalians, in their trying to owe up to historical wrongs and do what Jesus would do, that impresses me — as does their baptismal covenant and their sense of openness and hospitality, evinced by forums like this website. When I compare how the Jesus of the gospels speaks and behaves toward others with how today’s Episcopalians speak and behave toward others, I can see that they’re trying to emulate him, however imperfectly, given that they’re human. I don’t see that at all in the hubris and bombast that Glenn Beck regurgitates for a tidy profit, even daring to smear an important part of Jesus Christ’s gospel (and the churches that preach it out of faithfulness to him) as “Communist” and “Nazi.”

    Gregory Orloff

  10. joebrewer

    Mr. Johnson, you plead to be “spared.” You may easily spare yourself by simply closing the window.

    Joe Brewer

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